Curtis Watson, the man accused of murdering a prison administrator before escaping prison, appeared by video in court Wednesday.
Watson led authorities on a five-day search before his capture Sunday.
Authorities said Watson sexually assaulted and killed 64-year-old prison administrator Debra Johnson before escaping from West Tennessee State Penitentiary last Wednesday.
He was captured in Henning after residents saw him on their surveillance video. Two female correctional officers took him into custody coming out of a soybean field hours later.
Watson was brought to the Lauderdale County Justice Center but didn't appear in person before the judge after his lawyer requested the video arraignment. Only the judge was able to see Watson through her bench camera.
Watson now faces charges of first-degree murder, aggravated sexual battery, especially aggravated burglary and escape.
District Attorney General Mark Davison says they’re looking into whether or not they may seek the death penalty.
Watson was being held in Tipton County at the request of the state. On Wednesday morning, authorities escorted him out of the jail in preparation for his hearing at the Lauderdale County Courthouse. He’ll return to the custody of the Tennessee Department of Corrections after the hearing.
A Tennessee convict accused of sexually assaulting and killing a Tennessee Department of Corrections administrator, escaping prison and leading authorities on a multi-day manhunt is set to face a judge Wednesday.
Curtis Ray Watson is scheduled to appear at the Lauderdale County Justice Center in Ripley on Wednesday afternoon for arraignment on charges including murder and aggravated sexual battery in 64-year-old Debra Johnson's killing.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said Watson was sent out at 7 a.m. on Aug. 7 for his daily mowing details that were part of his work detail at West Tennessee State Penitentiary when he went to Johnson's home on prison grounds and killed her.
Sometime between 9 and 10 a.m., investigators said Watson took a tractor and reflective vest from the prison and drove away.
It wasn't until 11 a.m. that prison officials realized that Watson was missing.
Johnson's co-workers then discovered her body at 11:30 a.m. when she didn't show up for work, TBI said.
Watson then led authorities on a days-long manhunt that caused investigators to say "he could be anywhere" until a tip led to his arrest Sunday.
He was captured hours after a Henning couple got an alert from their RING security camera early in the morning, spotted him on the footage and called 911.
Their home was just 10 miles from the prison.
Watson had been serving a 15-year sentence for especially aggravated kidnapping when he escaped.